An adequate study of leadership behaviour must take account of leader‐member encounters in routine meetings and in the more informal and spontaneous discussions with individuals and groups. This comprehensive approach to leadership behaviour must relate the behaviour of the leader and member in interaction to the social system of the organization. The present discussion focusses on the relationship between general organizational values and normative role prescriptions on the one hand and behaviour in leader‐member encounters on the other. Particular use is made of the views of Talcott Parsons and Erring Goffman. It is concluded that the relationship between the constructs selected for discussion is subtle and difficult to test. However, there appears to be merit in the detailed study of the more informal leader‐member encounters which occur in the daily life of the organization.
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